A dark, hooded figure was walking suspiciously towards a dark alley. He entered and never came back out; in his place was a worried looking businessman with a briefcase in his hand. His eyes darted from side to side and then came upon an orphanage and stood across the street staring at it with a frustrated longing portrayed on his face. He stared unceasingly at the old run down building. The building looked out of place in New York City. In the midst of dizzyingly tall skyscrapers sat the one story orphanage and was probably the only building for miles that actually had real grass around it. The sign outside of the orphanage was missing so many letters nobody knew what exactly the building was used for. The color of the walls was horribly faded and was badly in need of service. The curtains on the windows were tattered and weren’t a recognizable color. Not an ideal place to keep children but it was the only place for homeless children for miles around.
The business man looked at his watch, rolled his eyes, and crossed the street walking purposefully towards the orphanage. He got to the sidewalk and stopped, as if an invisible barrier blocked his path. He glared at the orphanage and went back to his original spot across the street. After a few moments, the business man walked off clearly annoyed. He reentered the dark alley and never came back out…
Shane sat down at the table with his bowl of cereal, and stared off into space. His intense blue eyes were distant and out of focus. For some reason, he hadn’t been able to concentrate lately. His jet black hair was just as messy as the clothes he was wearing. It seemed that the only time how could concentrate was when he was near his sister. Speaking of whom, walked down the stairs and into the kitchen, her long, white hair flowing behind her, “Veh.” He sighed in relief, finally he could start eating.
“Hey.” Parvahneh sat down next to her brother. She smiled at the nickname he had given to her when they were young. He couldn’t exactly pronounce her name then. People never believed they were twins because they were opposite in almost every way. She was pale with white hair and short at 5’6”, he was tall at nearly six feet with black hair and dark skin. “What are you thinking about?” She asked sensing that he wasn’t at his best.
“I think the barrier around the house is failing,” he replied, “The magic wall has been depleting for some reason.” Shane frowned. The barrier had always been there, The Coven of Elders, as they were called, had built this orphanage for their children some fifty years ago. The barrier was placed there by the Elders to protect the young against the Bakemono’s.
The Bakemono’s were also a magic group, just as the Elders had been, except they were influenced by pure darkness, but no one knew for sure.
“I’m sure that it will be fine.” Veh was an optimist. “No one’s gotten through before, it won’t happen now.”
Sighing, Shane slumped over his bowl of cereal, no longer hungry. “Yes, but it’s failing!” He stressed, “If you haven’t noticed, the kids are fighting more than usual,” He pointed out, “and everyone seems restless.”
“Most of us are teenagers.” She rolled her eyes. “We get restless sometimes.”
“Something’s going to happen and it’s going to be our fault!” He almost yelled at Veh. “Open your eyes for once!” Shane said as he slammed his bowl in the sink, but not hard enough to break it. He stomped down the hallway and slammed the door to the room they shared.
Tears streaming down her face, Veh ran outside. Shane heard her slam the door and ran after her to apologize. He got to the door and flung it open, but she wasn’t there. The yard was vacant. All that could be heard was the sound of the wind. Frantically Shane ran around the house trying to find Veh, but he couldn’t. She was gone. She had to come back before anybody noticed, the orphanage didn’t let people come and go because it was dangerous.
As he stood on the porch, staring dejectedly into the sky when something fluttered into his line of view He obverted his eyes, not caring what it was. But it came back into his view. He gave up and focused on it and saw that it was a snow white butterfly. The white was the exact same shade of Veh’s hair. It wouldn’t go away and kept fluttering towards the dark alley across the street then coming back as if it wanted Shane to follow.
Giving in, Shane got up and followed the butterfly into the alley. The alley was pitch black, but in the middle there was something lit up. It was a large purple circle floating in mid air. Turning to the butterfly Shane asked, “What is this?” Shane turned away, nit expecting an answer but the butterfly landed on his hand and suddenly he wasn’t in the dark alley. He was floating in the sky watching as a hooded man took Veh into the alley and dragged her into the portal. Then Shane came back to the present. He looked questionably at the butterfly.
“What are you?” but this time he didn’t get an answer. Turning to the portal he walked in, not knowing or caring what was on the other side. Veh needed him and he wasn’t about to abandon his sister when she needed him.
Shane found himself falling through darkness. Frantically he looked around to see where he was falling to. Nothing. He was falling fast to nowhere. As air rushed through his hair he spotted the butterfly, fluttering ever so slowly near his head.
It landed softly on his ear and crawled to his back, in between his shoulder blades. Shane twisted his head to see but in its place was two huge Shane sized, snow while, butterfly wings. They were just big enough to slow his fall to a near drift.
In the midst of his amazement, Shane hadn’t noticed that he was coming upon a castle. It was constructed of all black marble and dark maple doors. The castle had several tall towers and was about the size of four football fields. Surrounding the castle was ashen land that seemed to stretch for miles.
From around his shoulder, the butterfly fluttered and landed is Shane’s open palm. Fear shot out of him like adrenalin as his images of Veh being dragged through the castle and up several steps. A shrill scream pierced through the images and made the butterfly shoot up and to his right
Following the butterfly with his gaze, he caught a glimpse of white, “Parvahneh!” He gasped. Anger burned in his chest like fire. Pushing open the dark heavy doors, Shane bolted thorough the dark lit granite hallways. The butterfly had perched on his shoulder and warned him every time someone was approaching. Each time, he would duck behind the massive pillars lining the walls.
Another scream scratched at his ear drums. Making sure that the white butterfly was still on his shoulder, he ran up a set of stairs that would lead him to Veh. Shane took the steps two at a time to bring his him up faster. The closer he got to his sister, the more agony he felt.
He reached the top of the stairs in dismay. The entrance to the tower was sealed by a locked maple door. Shane’s shoulders slumped as he watched the butterfly land on the handle. Helplessly he stretched out his hand and put it flat against the middle of the door. Using his other hand he slammed his fist against the door right above the lock.
Shane staggered a back in surprise as the as the door splintered open.
“I was wondering when you would show up, Shane,” said a dark hooded figure sitting in the dark. The figure laughed, stood up and removed his hood. The man revealed was ageless. He had rust red hair and dark, hazy purple eyes. Black serpents were tattooed on the left side of his face and trailed down his neck.
“Who are you? Why did you take my sister?” He growled, his anger overtaking his amazement at the man that stood in front of him.
“Who am I? I am the center of a new era! I am darkness, and soon your ‘Elders’ powers will fade. Haven’t you noticed your cute little protective barrier failing? Day after day, I have been attacking your Elder’s city. Soon the Elders will be powerless and nothing can stop me from closing the portal!” He ranted.
“Wait, why would you want to close the portal?” Shane asked, confused.
“This dimension is what keeps your world in balance. If it were not for the portal, your earth would fall out of orbit and hurtle into the sun.” The man explained with and evil, sinister smile.
“I won’t let you do that!” Shane shouted angrily.
“But I have your sister.” The red haired man hissed.
“Why do you have her?” Shane asked.
“Because, the Elders may lose their powers, but one of their children will receive them. It has been thought that way for years, but if the future host were eliminated before it could accept the powers, then there would be no more Elders and I will be the new ruler of the land.” The person who called himself ‘darkness’ explained.
“You better not touch her.” Shane warned.
“Or what? You’ll tell your butterfly to pollinate me?” He laughed shortly. “No, I have to kill your sister and you’re going to watch.” He said maliciously. Suddenly, an invisible force bound Shane and hung him in the air. The man snapped his fingers and Veh appeared. She was bound to a table and she looked half starved, but her body began to glow.
“Veh!” Shane yelled, realizing what was happening to her. “You’re receiving the powers from the Elders! Use them before he kills you!” Veh didn’t pay attention to his worried yells; she was paying attention to something. The man pulled out a long, evil looking sword. Shane could only yell but Veh still ignored everything.
The man brought the sword down and seconds before she died, Veh screamed, “Shane, use your powers!” and then the sword came down on her neck with a sickening crunch. Blood spurted everywhere and the sword seemed to shimmer in delight as it bathed itself in Veh’s blood.
“NO!” Shane screamed. His body began to shimmer and then there was a loud bang as massive waves of magical energy in all directions. The scream of the man could be heard as he disintegrated. The cloud of darkness and the castle were destroyed. Shane stood in the middle of the ruins. He looked around at what he’d done. He noticed the butterfly came and perched itself on his shoulder like it was always supposed to be there.
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